By Luminary Emily Hills
My mother always told me “the only constant in life was the knowledge that change is inevitable.” Trying to keep things the same is as pointless as trying to grasp the sunset in slatted palms. When something is as out of our control as the ever flowing nature of life, it’s pointless and detrimental to hold on. We can organize, manage, and try to direct it, but never stop it.
I know how difficult this lesson can be to learn. We all, at some point in our lives, have attempted to hold onto something we knew no longer served us: whether it be miles run on damaged knees or a toxic personal relationship past its expiration date.
Transitional experiences, although trying, can be most rewarding. My own adult life was riddled with a cross-country move, from the most northeastern tip of the USA to the non-continental west, every change of place adding an understanding of my true self.
I would have never had access to this knowledge unless I trusted the concept that change is constant, adding spice to our lives and opportunities for personal growth.
My first big move taught me independence, however that does not mean you can’t ask for help. Accepting a helping hand sometimes takes more courage than going it alone. It also opens you up to empathetically lend a hand when someone else has a need you can fulfill. This compassion is invaluable and can be applied to many relationships and situations.
The second lesson taught me that love is worth taking the leap. It overcomes obstacles, physical and emotional, and it’s more important than fear, pride, or risk of heart break. Never under estimate the value of love.
The third lesson taught me that walking in fear can either forge unbreakable courage or a lifetime of living in trepidation. The greatest part is you get to choose how much you let your fear control you. Tremble in fear's hold, or move past it knowing your true strength. Bravery and courage are only discovered by first feeling afraid.
The fourth and fifth lessons built on each other, one dependent on the next. Personally, I had to learn my value before I learned how to say “no.” Saying “no” was such an important concept for me to learn because without it I would still be saying “yes” to everything! I would literally say “yes” to whatever was asked of me no matter what impact it had on my health or happiness. I had no respect for myself and so, in result, I would sacrifice everything. This leaves no energy for self-care or personal development, and I started to lose myself as an individual. I was mother. I was wife. But I wasn’t anything else.
To combat this I started setting aside thirty-minute sessions, five times a week to care for my health. I want to raise my daughter seeing strong women that know their worth. This had to start at home. So, I dug out the joggers, laced up my sneakers, and hit the pavement. She would sit in her little cubby drinking from her sippy cup and reading a book while I increased my cardio health and, step-by-step, proved that I could work for any goal I set. I found out that I was stronger than I thought and worth more than I had ever dreamed. I lost over 60 pounds, but gained the ability squash self-doubt.
The sixth lesson came around the time I was introduced to yoga. In the form of men’s yoga DVDs my husband brought home to combat old military injuries, I found my passion. Yoga has a way of finding the willing at just the right time. I needed something that added structure to my desire for mindful movement and meditation; I found it with yoga. Whatever our passion is, it’s worth committing to. To find your purpose and deny it is a true tragedy.
This move is still young and I have much to learn. I’ve made an extra effort this time around to connect with people. I tend to be introverted, but long for a community that values truth, acceptance, and celebrates diversity. I’m not sure how long we’ll be here or where we’re going next, but I’m open to whatever lessons this universe has in store for me. I hope our paths cross along the journey.